NHL Picks with Jimmy the Bag: Monday, March 8th
NHL Picks with Jimmy the Bag: Monday, March 8th: Jimmy the Bag is back to start off the week right with a brand new batch of fresh NHL predictions.
NHL Picks for Monday, March 8th
The Coyotes are coming off an interesting two-game series at home vs the Wild. After losing the first game 5-1, the Coyotes were down 2-0 after the last period in game 2, dug deep, and scored five unanswered goals to win 5-2. It helped to have Darcy Kuemper back from injury. He allowed just two goals on 34 shots. They won the face-off battle and outhit the Wild in both games. They have lost 3/5 games overall, and 2 of those losses came at the hands of these Avalanche when Colorado came into Phoenix and beat them 3-2 and 6-2 on back-to-back nights last Friday and Saturday. Pheonix haș a balanced Attack. They have Clayton Keller and Christian Dvorak on their top line, Nick Schmaltz and leading scorer Connor Garland on their 2nd line, and ol sweet tits Phil Kessel on their 3rd line. 2016 1st round draft pick Jakob Chychrun out of the Sarnia Sting is playing excellent hockey, and adding him to a defense that already has Alex Goligoski and Oliver Ekman-Larsson gives you a strong Corp.
The Avalanche have been handling their injuries very well. They have played their last two games without star Nathan Mackinnon, they’ve been without winger Matt Calvert for two weeks, and JT Compher went down with an upper-body injury this weekend against the Ducks. It is on defense where they were hit the hardest. Star defensemen Cal Makar has missed five straight games with an upper-body injury. He was never put on IR, so there is an expectation that he could return soon. 2019 4th overall pick Bowen Byram has been placed on IR with an Upper Body injury. It’s retroactive to Feb 27th, so if he’s ready to go, they can activate him and get him in the lineup. It is very tough to win in this league without 2 of your top 4 defensemen. They have been playing most of the year without Dman Erik Johnson as well. They went 3-1 on their recent road trip and then came home to split a series with the lowly Ducks. They looked very vulnerable against a fragile Anaheim squad. The Coyotes want revenge, and here is a golden opportunity to exact it.
After losing three straight to the jets, The Montreal Canadiens finally got past Winnipeg on Saturday night 7-1. It was a big win for a team that started the season so strong and fell apart enough to get their head coach fired. Josh Anderson returned to the lineup and was a big boost. He started on a line with Toffoli and Kotkaniemi. The Tatar/Danault/Gallagher line was excellent. The Hans on Sunday flew across the country to Vancouver to begin a six-game road trip as a healthy team.
The Canucks have a chance to build on something after defeating the Leafs twice in 3 nights. They have won 3/4 and need to continue winning on this homestand. After being very fortunate to beat the Habs 6-5 in a shootout in their first meeting of the season, the Habs have beaten Vancouver badly in 4 straight. Here is a chance for these Canucks to show some heart and exact revenge. Brock Boeser is heating up, and I believe that is because JT Miller is now his center. Miller is the best player on the Canucks, and the team is simply better with him at center. He is there because Elias Petterson is hurt. The Canucks aren’t a better team without Elias Petterson out there, but he spends an awful lot of time on the half wall waiting for the puck. The Nucks know it’s now or never time for this season. If they get hot here, they have a chance. If this was a pick’em, I might not be so adamant about pulling the trigger. Getting the Canucks as a home dog here when they have their first signs of real confidence is a must-bet for me.
The Kings snapped their four-game losing streak with a big 4-3 overtime win at home over the Blues on Saturday night. They have faced the Ducks just once this season and lost 3-1. The Kings need to go into Anaheim and defeat them here. Their six-game winning streak in mid-February showed this is a better Kings team than we’ve seen the last few years. Kopitar, Brown, and Doughty are playing inspired hockey. They have to go into Anaheim against a weak hockey team and beat them soundly if they want any chance at glory this year. I expect them to do just that. Coming back from 3-0 down to a Blues squad that had just beaten them, showed a lot of heart. I expect that to carry over to this game.
The Ducks snapped their nine-game losing streak with a 5-4 overtime win against a severely understaffed Avalanche squad. That win gives us an unbelievable number. I honestly don’t know how the Kings aren’t -140 here. At -120, you have to take advantage of this. This Ducks team is fragile upfront and has been dealing with Hampus Lindholm’s loss on the back end. I know a lot of cappers see these two teams playing and automatically think under. The problem is the -131 that is attached. At -131, you have to ask yourself, does this have a 56.71% probability of hitting. I have great difficulty saying it does. The Ducks are not the strong defensive team we remember and allow 2.96 goals a game. The Kings 1-3-1 is beautiful for under, but the market knows that and lines these games accordingly.